Everything You Need to Know About the Toyota Scandal

When looking at auto scandals, such as the one Volkswagen’s facing right now, you have to wonder just what could possibly be the worst — is it the tires like with Firestone and Ford? Or perhaps it’s all about the cutthroat marketing with GM and Chrysler? No. It has to be something that could very well jeopardize human life. Acceleration. And we saw something like that before regarding Audi (although that automaker was indeed vindicated).

This Toyota Scandal Is Exactly About That: Acceleration

To be clear, that’s unintended acceleration. When your car seems to be gaining in speed and you don’t even have your foot on the pedal, there’s a problem! And it turned out that only Toyota scandal-1just three years ago, Toyota had agreed to pay the government an astonishing $1.2B, avoiding prosecution in the automotive industry for years of proof showing unintended acceleration occurrences with your Toyota and Lexus models.

This payout happened to be the largest criminal penalty ever. And with no surprise, the Toyota scandal did result in the carmaker blaming the issue on everything but the kitchen sink —

  • Driver Errors
  • Floor Mats
  • Lack of Proof

Sadly, it turned out that the Toyota scandal had been blanketed by the fact that the company was effectively hiding documents about the one central flaw — the gas pedal assembly! Executives of Toyota had to take one good look at their hands and realize that the skin’s smeared with the stains of many facing the flaw and potentially realizing death due to accidents that could be prevented.

It’s a Miracle Toyota Still Manufactures Vehicles Today

That’s tenacity and professionalism, something Volkswagen can take notes on regarding the Toyota scandal of that decade. Toyota admitted fault, recalling 9.3MM vehicles worldwide. Replacing those gas pedal assemblies took a lot of money, but in the long run it was well worth it for the automaker. And the truth shall set you free.

Everything You Need to Know About the Tucker

What is the Tucker? Oh, only one of the hidden gems of the automotive industry, surprisingly eclipsed equally by its subsequent failure. You can’t blame the man, though, behind the myth and the machine, Mr. Preston Tucker, for his drive and desire to put his own footprint and skidmark in the auto market with tenacity and fervor. If only he had thought things through just a bit more, he might’ve had a real goldmine there….

The Tragedy That Was the Tucker

Enter: the “honeymoon stage” of a birth of a new innovation in the auto industry, as the Tucker was launched back in 1948 to the imagination of the public of a new era. Think bold. Tucker-1Think streamlined and styled to herald a new future in the commute of a brave American empire like General Motors. Preston Tucker really did have something in his dream, honestly, given how successful he was as a designed of a gun turret for the United States Navy.

With the advanced safety features and a charismatic fundraising campaign, Tucker took his, well, Tucker and did a bit of a grassroots initiative, traveling in his car, selling stock and dealership franchises to make that name for himself. He even took down payments on cars to put into production. Ambitious. But risky.

It was risky given the fact that Tucker’s company really started with no capital at all — something any normal businessman would’ve even think of doing, no matter how successful the idea might be predicted to be. So you can’t blame Mr. Tucker for doing his best to at least keep the lights on for his auto factory by selling options and accessories to customers who had purchased vehicles that weren’t even built, yet!

You can see the big ending here: delays in production occurred. Pretty much par for the course. But because customers got antsy, the government got involved and indicted Tucker and his board of directors for fraud, effectively shutting his company down. You honestly can’t sell cars to people that haven’t been manufactured, yet! How’s that for an auto scandal, Volkswagen?

The Tucker: an Inherent Tragedy, But Not Because of the Car Itself

There’s no doubt that the Tucker would’ve been a tremendous standard in the auto industry. But after just 51 of those Tuckers built and the factory closing shortly after, it’s a sad fact that you may never see a Tucker even sitting in a garage today. You might see it in a museum, though.